At Phillip Island
Australian riders took the honours in the second round of the HANNspree Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in front of a 65,400 crowd.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) dominated both Superbike races, while Andrew Pitt clinched the Supersport
win. Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) took the other two podium positions in the first Superbike encounter, while Spaniards Carlos Checa (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) and Fonsi Nieto (Alstare Suzuki) were second and third in race 2.
It was a disastrous weekend for Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Ducati), who started from 16th on the grid and then had two crashes in two races, the second of which left him nursing a broken wrist.
"It's something you dream of, to have a double win on your last time here", declared Bayliss. "I knew this weekend was going to be very difficult, everybody's riding well and there's a lot of good bikes out there. I have a great team behind me and I'm happy with the result. After the first race I was struggling the last few laps and was worried it was going to be a duel with Max, but he managed to crash and then he did so again in the second race. The times were a little bit slower in race 2 but I felt better on the bike, it was more consistent throughout and a pleasure to ride".
Bayliss led from start to finish to dominate from Corser and Fabrizio. Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Ducati) took fourth from Nieto in fifth, Checa and Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki), while Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) had tyre problems and could only finish eighth.
Biaggi was catching leader Bayliss but the Italian crashed out from second place on lap 16 at the slow right-hander. The race had two starts after Fabrizio stalled on the grid and was hit by Iannuzzo (Pedercini Kawasaki). The factory Ducati rider managed to finish third with muscular contusions to his right leg, while Iannuzzo was taken to hospital with a wrist fracture.
Corser led the first four laps of the second race before crashing out, leaving Bayliss with a commanding lead. Behind the leader an all-Spanish battle raged between Nieto, Xaus and Checa for second, and the runner-up slot eventually went to the Honda rider, who is making his WSBK debut this year. Nieto took the final podium place, ahead of Xaus, Neukirchner and Kiyonari, another WSBK rookie.
Biaggi had a nasty high-speed crash at Turn 1 on lap 7 while battling for second, suffering a broken wrist in the process, but he should be back for the next round at Valencia in one month's time.
Riders points: 1. Bayliss 88; 2. Nieto 61; 3. Xaus 59; 4. Corser 45; 5. Checa 45; 6. Neukirchner 39; etc.
Manufacturers points: 1. Ducati 95; 2. Suzuki 63; 3. Yamaha 54; 4. Honda 46; 5. Kawasaki 7
Five riders scrapped for the win right down to the last lap of the 21-lap race, but victory eventually went to former champion Andrew Pitt (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda).
The 32 year-old Australian kept a cool head in the final laps to take his first points of the year ahead of the HANNspree Stiggy Motors pairing of Joshua Brookes and Robbin Harms. Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport) caught up with the leading group to lead with two laps remaining, but finished fourth, Jonathan Rea (Honda) and Garry McCoy (Triumph) had good races to finish fifth and sixth, while round 1 winner Broc Parkes (Yamaha) crashed out.
SBK Press Office